The Spanish Reaction to the Cuban Revolution: Why it Infuriated US Businesses in the Late 1800s

The late 1800s was a time of great change in the world, with revolutions and wars breaking out across different countries. One such revolution that rocked the world was the Cuban Revolution of 1898. However, it wasn’t just the revolution itself that caused shockwaves throughout society – it was also how US businesses reacted to it. In this blog post, we’ll explore why these reactions infuriated US businesses so much and delve into some of the historical events that took place during this tumultuous time period. So buckle up and get ready for a journey through history as we uncover what really happened during the Spanish reaction to the Cuban Revolution!

The Cuban Revolution of 1898

The Cuban Revolution of 1898

The Cuban Revolution of 1898 marked a turning point in the history of Cuba and the United States. It was a struggle for independence fought by Cuban revolutionaries against Spanish colonial rule that had been established on the island since 1492.

The conflict began in February 1895 when José Martí, a poet and revolutionary leader, led an invasion force into eastern Cuba from Florida. He hoped to spark a general uprising among Cubans against Spain’s oppressive regime, but his efforts were met with fierce opposition from Spanish troops.

Despite this setback, Martí continued to rally support for the cause both inside and outside of Cuba. By mid-1896, thousands of new recruits had joined the rebellion – including some notable figures such as Antonio Maceo, Maximo Gomez and Calixto Garcia.

In late 1897, however, things took a turn for the worse when Spanish General Valeriano Weyler arrived on the scene with orders to crush any remaining resistance through brutal tactics like concentration camps where people were forced into close quarters without proper food or sanitation leading to mass starvation and disease outbreaks.

By April 11th of the following year (1898), President William McKinley finally declared war on Spain after weeks of tense negotiations between Washington D.

C. and Madrid over ongoing concerns about human rights abuses committed by Weyler’s forces against civilians caught up in this conflict.

How US businesses reacted to the Revolution

After the Cuban Revolution of 1898, US businesses were not pleased with the changes happening in Cuba. The revolution had ousted Spanish rule and established a new government that was more focused on Cuban interests than those of foreign powers. This meant that US businesses no longer held as much power and influence over the island’s economy.

Many US companies had invested heavily in Cuba before the revolution, especially in industries such as sugar production and mining. They relied on cheap labor and favorable trade agreements to maximize their profits. However, after the revolution, these companies faced new regulations and taxes imposed by the Cuban government.

US business owners lobbied their government to intervene in Cuba to protect their interests. They argued that without intervention, they would lose valuable investments and access to an important market for American goods. As tensions between Spain and the United States continued to rise, many saw war as inevitable.

The reactions of US businesses ultimately played a significant role in sparking the Spanish-American War. In addition to seeking protection for their investments, some business leaders also sought territorial expansion into places like Puerto Rico and Guam – which were eventually annexed by America following the war.

US businesses’ reactions to the Cuban Revolution highlighted how economic interests can drive political decisions at both home and abroad.

The Spanish-American War

The Spanish-American War was a crucial event in the history of US foreign policy. It began as a result of the Cuban Revolution, which had left Spain struggling to maintain control over Cuba. The United States saw an opportunity and sent their navy to blockade Cuba while supporting rebel forces on the island.

The war lasted only a few months but resulted in significant losses for both sides. The United States emerged victorious, acquiring several territories including Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines.

The aftermath of the war also saw the introduction of the Platt Amendment which gave America control over Cuba’s affairs. This move angered many Spanish businesses who were invested in Cuba at that time.

While it was a relatively short conflict, it marked an important turning point in American foreign policy and relations with Spain.

The Platt Amendment

The Platt Amendment was a significant document in the history of Cuba. It was passed by the US Congress in 1901, and it effectively made Cuba a protectorate of the United States.

The amendment allowed for the establishment of American military bases on Cuban soil. This meant that the US could maintain a presence in Cuba and protect its own interests there.

Furthermore, it gave the United States authority over Cuban foreign policy. The country’s leaders were not able to enter into any treaties or agreements without getting approval from Washington first.

The Platt Amendment also mandated that Cuba include certain provisions in its constitution, including one stating that it would never sign any treaty with another nation which might impair its independence.

While some Cubans saw this as an infringement on their sovereignty, others welcomed American intervention as necessary for stability and economic growth.

While controversial at times, the Platt Amendment played a crucial role in shaping relations between Cuba and America during this era.


The Spanish reaction to the Cuban Revolution in 1898 infuriated US businesses because it threatened their economic interests and investments in Cuba. The US had long been interested in Cuba for its strategic location and potential for business opportunities, but Spain’s control over the island made it difficult for American companies to establish a foothold.

The Revolution offered hope that this would change, with many US businesses eagerly supporting the cause of Cuban independence. However, when Spain refused to grant independence and instead declared war on the United States, American businesses saw an opportunity to expand their influence in Cuba.

With the victory of the United States in the Spanish-American War, American businesses were able to secure favorable terms through measures like the Platt Amendment. This allowed them greater access to Cuba’s resources and markets without having to compete against Spanish companies.

While these developments benefited US businesses at the time, they also set a precedent for future interventions by powerful countries seeking economic advantage. In today’s globalized world where multinational corporations wield significant power over governments and economies alike, it is important to remember how historical events like these continue to shape our present-day realities.

By Admin

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